(Barberton, Ohio) Yesterday, Father Richard A. Arko, a Roman Catholic priest with the Prince of Peace Church, was arrested for illegal cultivation of marijuana in the church rectory. Jensen J. Powell, 24, who lives with Arko, was also arrested and charged with drug trafficking. According to police, “a marijuana growing system” was found and “about 35 potted marijuana plants, along with drug paraphernalia” were confiscated. Bond was set by Judge Michael McNulty at $3,000 for Arko and $10,000 for Powell.
This is a logical result of ineptitude in the management of the Catholic Church. Apparently, a random drug testing program for priests has not been effectively implemented. And, due to the frequent negative reports of the priesthood being populated with pedophiles, homosexuals, and, now, potheads, there should be little surprise that people are losing faith in the church. From a political standpoint, each event of contemptuous behavior by the clergy adds to the already significantly eroded influence the church has on public policy.
On a positive note, the faithful can be confident that contemporary priests are well qualified to hear confessions without being alarmed, shocked, nor too judgmental. They’ve been there, done that.